China Railway Group plans to ride China's "One Belt, One Road" initiative and increase the portion of overseas revenue in the company to more than 10 per cent by 2020 from 5 per cent in 2014 while boosting the annual growth rate of its overseas revenue by 15 per cent, the Chinese rail construction firm's president Li Changjin said. China Railway's overseas revenue was US$5 billion last year, accounting for 5 per cent of total revenue. The state-owned firm's overseas orders surged 29.7 per cent to US$9 billion last year, much faster than its total orders, which grew only 0.5 per cent to 934.6 billion yuan (HK$1.18 trillion). "In the next few years, the One Belt, One Road will be a good environment to expand our overseas business," said Li. The Chinese government's One Belt, One Road plan envisages infrastructure including railway will connect China, Kazakhstan, Russia and Europe, while in Southeast Asia, China will connect with Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore, Li explained. We are definitely confident, because these projects will be financed by loans from Chinese state-owned banks. Li Changjin, China Railway Group Li was "definitely confident" his company will win the contracts to build a railway from Yunnan province to Laos and a connecting railway from Thailand to Laos. He gave no dollar value but explained: "We are definitely confident, because these projects will be financed by loans from Chinese state-owned banks." Construction is expected to begin this year on the Yunnan-Laos railway, and a tender must be called before then, said Yu Tengqun, China Railway board secretary. Construction of the Thai-Laos railway might begin by the end of this year, said Yu. The other leading Chinese rail construction firm, China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC), intends to bid for the 770-kilometre high-speed railway between Moscow and Kazan in Russia, but China Railway has decided not to compete with CRCC for this project, Li disclosed. On April 16, Russian Railways will hold an open tender for engineering survey, project development and route planning for the Moscow-Kazan high-speed rail, the Russian state-owned rail operator announced on March 16. The initial contract value for this project is 20.79 billion roubles (HK$3 billion) excluding value-added tax, said Russian Railways. CRCC's overseas orders soared 59.7 per cent to 127.8 billion yuan last year, according to the Hong Kong and Shanghai-listed company's website. China Railway's closing Hong Kong share price surged 47.3 per cent from HK$6.78 on March 27 to HK$9.99 yesterday. In the same period CRCC soared 48.6 per cent, to HK$15.10 yesterday. The sharp rise in China Railway's Hong Kong share price is for two reasons, said Gary Wong, an analyst with Guotai Junan International Holdings. One is market speculation that China Railway will benefit from One Belt, One Road, Wong explained. The other reason is the huge amount of funds flowing from the mainland to Hong Kong to buy stocks including the Hong Kong shares of China Railway, which is cheaper than China Railway's Shanghai A shares, Wong said. "Investors think the domestic rail market may not grow or may drop from 2016 to 2020. China Railway's only hope for growth is the One Belt, One Road. Railway is certainly a huge part of that," Wong added.